Looking for a new trick to add to your Braai repertoire? Rum, mint and lime bring a fresh and surprising twist to your next chicken dish, trust us your guests will love this!
1.7-2kg whole chicken
1 x 28g pack mint
3 tbsp The Great White Rum
3 shallots, chopped
finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
For the mint gremolata:
1 x 28g pack mint, leaves finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
Firstly you will need to spatchcock the chicken*** (see below). Next use a sharp knife to cut a few deep slashes on the legs and the breast of the chicken, this will help the marinade penetrate. Lay the chicken flat in a shallow dish and set aside.
Pick the leaves and thinner stems from the mint, and chop roughly. Add to a small food processor with The Great White Rum, shallots, lime zest and juice, olive oil and chilli flakes, if you choose to use them. Season and blitz together (alternatively, chop everything finely and mix together in a bowl). Spoon the marinade over the chicken, make sure to work it into the slashes. Cover with clingfilm and set aside in the fridge to marinate for about 2 hours, or overnight if you have time.
Bring the Braai to a medium heat with only glowing coals and no flames, or preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, or gas level 6. Push the hot coals to one side, so you can cook the chicken on the other side over a lower, more indirect heat. Season the chicken generously with salt; discard the marinade.
On the Braai: lay the chicken skin-side up onto the grill. Leave to cook for 35-40 minutes. Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the chicken is cooking evenly, turning around if necessary but keeping it skin side up. Now turn the chicken skin side down, and cook for 25-30 minutes, again checking regularly to make sure it’s cooking evenly. For maximum crispy skin, weight the chicken down as it cooks; a heavy cast iron dish or even a heavy heatproof (no plastic handles) frying pan is ideal. Check the chicken is cooked by slicing into the thickest part of the meat: there should be no hint of pink and the juices should run clear. Cook for a few more minutes if necessary.
If you’re cooking in the oven, heat a large griddle pan to high. Put the chicken skin-side down in the pan, and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden and lightly charred. Transfer to a roasting tray, skin-side-up and cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the juices run clear.
Once cooked, remove to a chopping board, cover loosely with foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes while you make the gremolata. Zest the limes into a small bowl and mix in the mint and garlic. Chop the zested limes into wedges and reserve.
Cut the chicken into pieces through the bone using a large sharp knife. Pile onto a serving plate and sprinkle over the gremolata. Serve with the lime wedges.
*** Spatchcocking a chicken means flattening it out. Put the chicken breast-side down on a chopping board, then using heavy duty kitchen scissors, cut down each side of the backbone. Remove and discard. Turn the bird breast side-up and press down really firmly in the middle to open it out flat.